Social Enterprise Support Fund: Interim Evaluation Report

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


The Social Enterprise Support Fund (SESF) was established to provide grants and non-financial support to social enterprises and charities within England. This round of the SESF seeks to support social enterprises, with an emphasis on supporting enterprises to recover and rebuild in a post-Covid society, whilst also ensuring equitable and inclusive delivery of said support. UnLtd: The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs (UnLtd), The School for Social Enterprise (SSE), the Key Fund, Resonance and Big Issue Invest (BII) have co-delivered the fund, with the University of Northampton acting as the external and independent Evaluation and Learning Partner, responsible for supporting the delivery partners in understanding the cost-effectiveness and lessons from the fund. A structural overview of the SESF and the possible journeys through it for social enterprises is provided at Appendix A.

This research report represents interim data on the efficacy and impact to date of SESF, based upon data gathered between December 2021 and November 2022. Specifically, the research aims to assess:
• The extent to which onward grants and technical assistance were delivered effectively;
• The extent to which onward grants and technical assistance achieved the intended impact on the social enterprises and the people they support;
• How the fund delivered against its equity and inclusion targets and actions; and what helped partners reach Inclusion Targets for the scheme and what did not;
• The role played by contextual blockers and enablers that social enterprises have faced in implementing their plans;
• Customer satisfaction with the scheme, including for unsuccessful applicants; and
• Capture the learning developed throughout the SESF’s delivery in close collaboration with the lead learning partner, UnLtd.

The University of Northampton’s ‘Institute for Social Innovation and Impact’ (ISII) is delivering the ongoing monitoring and evaluation project with the aim to answer the above questions and also identify the impact of the SESF by the end of the evaluation period in September 2023. As noted, this report represents interim findings and so caution should be noted in interpreting some of the trends, until the dataset is further enhanced through new data collection.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Northampton Institute of Social Innovation and Impact
Number of pages61
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Enterprise Support Fund: Interim Evaluation Report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this